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Somalia welcomes AU bid to create conflict-free Africa

Somali government has lauded African Union’s move to provides a roadmap for dealing with arms and ending violent conflict.

The 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council officially opened on Thursday, at in Addis Ababa.

The meeting is being held under the AU Theme of the Year 2020, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”.

The initiative of Silencing the Guns is a flagship project of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and aims to achieve a conflict-free Africa, prevent genocide, make peace a reality for all and rid the continent of wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence, violent conflicts and preventing genocide.

The meeting which was attended by Foreign Ministers of AU member states, leadership of the AU Commission and AU organs, the diplomatic corps, representatives of partner organisations and invited guests was highly solemn as the key speakers in line with the Theme, delivered powerful statements to strongly condemn and denounce the devastating effect of war on the continent’s socio-economic development, among others.

Addressing the Session, Somali minister for Foreign Afairs, Ahmed Issa Awad said the plan crucial for Somalia as it will contribute to security.

“We had been through protracted conflict for many years, but we are glad to report that we are on the right track towards ushering in a period of stability and economic development,” the minister said, “And as we chart the roadmap towards creating conducive environment for Africa’s development, Somalia seeks to strengthen strategic partnerships, first with our neighbors in the Horn of Africa and East Africa, especially on security, economic and social cooperation.”

Meanwhile, other participants stressed on the need to accelerate action on “silencing the guns” with a view to mobilise all stakeholders to prioritise efforts on peace and effective socio-economic development in the continent.

The speakers underlined some of the challenges that lead people to violent conflicts, including poverty, historical injustices, inequality, unemployment, climate change, illegal financial flows, and corruption, bad governance, and post electoral disputes leading to political instability and reminded delegates of the pan-African dream and determination to silence the guns by 2020 as enshrined in the Africa Agenda 2063.

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